UFC 224: Amanda Nunes Looks To Retain Bantamweight Crown In Brazil

BC-CAR--NASCAR-Shevchenko

Amanda Nunes has no intentions of dropping the UFC's bantamweight title, even if it means having to face her girlfriend, Nina Ansaroff, in the cage. While Dern calls the U.S. home, she's the daughter of legendary Brazilian MMA fighter Wellington "Megaton" Dias so Dern, a renowned Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner who earned her black belt at age 19, will certainly be the fan favorite here. The bout marks the third time Nunes will be defending the belt, since she submitted Miesha Tate in 2016.

However, her aura of invincibility was damaged somewhat in her last fight, edging a closely contested split decision against Valentina Shevchenko, a fight many thought she may have lost. Her takedown defense is lacking and being on your back against Dern is never a good thing.

"Obviously, you're going to get the occasional person who is going to be hard or insecure about their feelings towards somebody else's sexuality, but I think, for the most part, they would be celebrated and respected, for openly owning their sexuality in a very masculine environment", says Dan. If Raquel Pennington can silence the crowd early, she will have the chance to gain momentum but if she fails, this fight could be over quickly. UFC 224 Embedded, Episode 3On Episode 3 of UFC 224 Embedded, women's bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes makes the most of her downtime with a trip to the mall. A knockout win wouldn't surprise me for Gastelum, but I think Jacare gets it done in his home country. This might have been a bad idea on the part of Kelleher to fight Lineker in Brazil. Gastelum (14-3) is listed with a money line of +125 to win. He has strong power in his strikes and vicious submissions. Gastelum is looking to string together wins at 185 after knocking out former champion Michael Bisping in under 90 seconds in November. Gastelum has great striking but has shown that he has a weakness on the mat. Given the "home-field" advantage, I do think he will walk away the victor here at UFC 224, but I wouldn't be shocked to see Kelvin catch Souza cold.

Amanda Nunes top from Brazil top fights Raquel Pennington from the United States during their UFC women's bantamweight mixed martial arts bout in Rio de Janeiro Brazil early Sunday

It's two Brazilian legends hoping to earn one last shot at glory with Belfort ranked ninth in the middleweight division and Machida 12.

Lyoto Machida is listed as a -275 favorite, putting Belfort as a 2.35 to 1 underdog. Belfort, 41, has one victory in his past four fights but it was last time out against Nate Marquardt in June 2017. In the end, I believe Machida will be faster and he'll beat Belfort to the punch throughout the fight.

The 38-year-old Souza has yet to fight for a title in his career.

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